Coleman leads Callaway offense

Published 12:40 pm Tuesday, April 21, 2020

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The Callaway Cavaliers had one of the state’s most explosive offenses last season, and quarterback Demetrius Coleman was a big reason why.

Coleman threw for close to 3,000 yards with 32 touchdowns in 2019 while helping Callaway reach the Class AA state semifinals.

While Callaway lost some key offensive pieces from that team, including all-state running back Cartavious “Tank” Bigsby and four talented wide receivers, Coleman will return for his senior season to play for new offensive coordinator Zach Giddens.

“He’s been wonderful to work with,” Giddens said of Coleman. “Not only does he have quick feet, and he’s got a great arm and is athletic, but he’s a great kid, and his family is great, too.”

Giddens was able to work closely with Coleman and build a relationship before everything was shut down more than a month ago.

Since March 13, high-school sports teams in Georgia have been unable to get together because of the coronavirus, so most communication between players and coaches has been done remotely.

Fortunately for Giddens, he had enough time before everything was halted to get Coleman and the other players familiar with what he wants to do offensively.

“I’d just kind of gotten everything taught to the guys,” Giddens said. “We’ve been doing some virtual installs, and we’ve been reviewing everything. The great thing is, they remember pretty much everything we covered about a month ago, which is really encouraging.”

Another player Giddens will be counting on is senior running back Charlie Dixon, who thrived as a backup to Bigsby last season.

“I hope he has a breakout year,” Giddens said of Dixon. “I know he had an excellent year last year. We’re looking forward to him carrying the load.”

One area where Callaway will need to rebuild on offense is at the wide-receiver position.

Jacob Freeman, Jymere Jones, Antinez Blount and Markus Morman combined for more than 90 catches last season, and they were all seniors.

Jalin Shephard, who caught eight passes for 202 yards last season, is Callaway’s top returning receiver.

Giddens does have confidence in the man who is coaching the wide receivers, Dialleo Burks.

Burks, who played professional football for a decade before going into coaching, is returning for his second season as Callaway’s receivers coach after spending four seasons as LaGrange High’s head coach.

“It’s pretty awesome with coach Burks being on staff and coaching with him,” Giddens said. “We have had such a great relationship for a long time. I can’t say enough great things about him. As far as being a technician, and route running, and blocking on the perimeter, and motivating them, across the board he’s got it going on.”